I am at the IRC (Indie Romance Convention) in Lebanon, TN. Sitting here with me is Author Julia Sykes.
Jacqueline has agreed to answer a few questions for me.
What genre do you write?
Romantic Suspense/Dark Erotica, and I’m just starting to branch into Paranormal Romance.
Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and do you read the same genre as you write?
I’ve always loved to read. When I was in middle school, I was kind of labeled the class weirdo for always reading young adult fantasy novels during recess (and sometimes under my desk during class). As more mature vampire novels became popular in young adult (like Vampire Academy and Twilight), I moved into paranormal romance. I actually didn’t read much romantic suspense or dark erotica when I started writing it. Now, I’ll read pretty much any romance genre except straight-up contemporary. Someone has to be in serious danger for me to be engaged.
What inspired you to write in this particular genre?
I’ve always been a big fan of rescue fantasies. I love a heroine who is independent and can take care of herself, but I just swoon for the Hero who saves her. I used to write the climactic scenes of unfinished stories when I was in college, and a few years later I wrote my first full novel.
Where are you from?
Greenville, South Carolina. I spent a lot of time in the UK during college, and I did my MA and half a PhD in England. I met my husband here, and now we’ve moved back to York. So I feel like I’m almost as much of a Yorkshire Rose as a Carolina Girl.
Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?
My favorite writing experience was Knight. It was my first foray into something really dark that I planned to share with other people. My private stories had always been dark, but this was the first time I published it for everyone to see. It was very liberating writing about Lydia’s traumatic experience.
I also really enjoyed writing my character Lissa in my Renegade Series. She’s Bipolar like me, and it was very cathartic writing about her struggles to control her emotions when she knew they weren’t always rational. There was more going on with her mental state, but I won’t spoil the plot twist ;).
Do you have a special formula for creating characters’ names?
Usually, I pick my main characters’ names based on what “feels” right. For surnames and smaller characters, I look up popular names in the years that character was born and/or check popular names in the area where they’re from.
Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?
Writing what Alicia goes through in Czar was very difficult. I was channelling some of my own traumatic experiences through what was happening to her (nothing near like what I put her through, though). It sent me into a really deep depression, and I had difficulty finishing the book. I actually had to push back the release date because there were some days I just couldn’t bring myself to write it. However, the experience helped me deal with some things I hadn’t acknowledged, so ultimately it was a positive experience.
What is your motto?
I don’t really have one. I guess “Try to keep your shit together today, Julia” lol
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Reading quick and dirty kinky romance novellas (Hello, Loki Renard!) in between writing.
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Julia Domna, empress of Rome (170-217 CE). She was the main focus of my research at university, and she is one badass woman in history! I chose my pen name because of her. Also, the “193” in my email and twitter handle is the year she came to power as empress. She is so cool!
Tell us your latest news?
I’m just wrapping up my new paranormal romance novel, Dark Submission (late October release). I actually released an earlier version of this story under the title Dangerous Desires. It was my first self published book in 2012. Not long after publishing, I realized how much work it needed, and I pulled it from sale. I’ve always planned to re-write it, and recently my vampire Braden started talking to me again. I’ve re-written the entire thing with new world building and different characters. The bones of the story are the same, but the book is completely different and reflects my writing style as it is currently.
Thank you Julia Sykes for taking the time to answers these questions.
Books by this Author:
About the Author:
Julia Sykes is the USA Today bestselling author of the Impossible Series. She has always kept dark stories tucked away in her mind, so she was thrilled when she discovered that other people actually want to read them. Her books blend romance, suspense, and BDSM.
When not writing, Julia spends her time petting her cat-children, reading, and binge watching TV with her husband. You can usually find her in Starbucks with a venti iced coffee clutched in her hand.
Julia loves connecting with readers! Please feel free to contact her on facebook, through twitter, or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about Julia’s current and future projects at julia-sykes.com.